Before the typical prospect can put the long recession behind him or her and return to the market, the psychological impact and real lifestyle scaleback of the last two years need to be addressed.
As it turns out, Bank of America Merrill Lynch polled a few of its roughly 11,000 "mass affluent" clients -- with over $100,000 to invest but less than $250,000 -- and discovered a few ominous habits that even these relatively wealthy American families adopted to support their cash flow needs over the last few years:
* draining retirement accounts to pay monthly expenses
* delaying retirement
* abandoning saving programs
If I'm reading the data right, they also discovered that a full 1/6 of the mass affluent market had a financial plan once and has since gone off course. That's a lot of people to be brought back in out of the cold as advisors regroup.